Lesley Manville

BBC Two acquires period drama Harlots

Samantha Morton and Lesley Manville in Harlots (credit: BBC)

Written by playwright Moira Buffini, Harlots explores the world of Georgian London’s most valuable commercial activity – sex.

Inspired by the stories of real women in 18th century London, the high-powered family drama follows Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton), a brothel owner struggling to reconcile her profession with her role as mother to her daughters.

Lesley Manville (Mum) stars as the rival madam Lydia Quigley, who ruthlessly attempts to upend Margaret’s business.

BBC announces remake of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads

Left to right: Jodie Comer, Monica Dolan, Martin Freeman, Tamsin Greig, Sarah Lancashire, Lesley Manville, Lucian Msamati, Maxine Peake, Rochenda Sandall, Kristin Scott Thomas, Imelda Staunton and Harriet Walter (Credit: BBC)

Ten of the original monologues will be remade and two new ones, written by Bennett last year, will also be showcased.

Produced by Nicholas Hytner’s London Theatre Company and Kevin Loader, filming will take place at the BBC Elstree Studios using current sets.

The monologues tell stories that are important and timely, all while allowing the actors to perform despite the coronavirus lockdown.

First glimpse of Lennie James in Save Me Too

Nelly Rowe (Lennie James) (Credit: Sky/Sky Studios/World Productions)

Save Me Too follows the return of estranged father Nelly (Lennie James), seventeen months after his unsuccessful search for his missing daughter Jody.

Challenged to re-evaluate his life decisions, Nelly’s search forced him to take dangerous risks that dragged him into a dark underworld that trafficks kidnapped youngsters including Jody.

BBC One has commissioned new drama World On Fire

World On Fire (Credit: BBC)

The multi-stranded drama – written by Peter Bowker – chronicles World War Two through the eyes of people on all sides of the global conflict.  

The series takes viewers back to the summer of 1939 and looks at the first year of the war, from civilian life in Manchester to combat on the beaches of Dunkirk.

As the world starts to crash and burn, translator Harry (Jonah Hauer- King) falls in love with Polish waitress Kasia (Zofia Wichlacz) while working at the British Embassy in Warsaw.